What’s it like to go through hotel quarantine in Australia? Tough but fine? A quiet retreat away from the world? Worse than the zombie apocalypse?
The Center for Research Evaluation (CERE) at the University of Mississippi is launching a new evaluation study to answer this question.
Quarantine Voices is a citizen-led effort to document and evaluate Australia’s hotel quarantine system from the perspective of those who have been through it.
Led by Australian-born, US-based evaluator Dr. Sarah Mason, Quarantine Voices will collect and share the stories of those who have been through hotel quarantine.
We are inviting invite anyone who has been through hotel quarantine to share their feedback about the experience via an online survey and/or interview.
The feedback void
In March 2021, Dr. Mason spent two weeks in hotel quarantine. During that time, she became troubled by the absence of organized feedback mechanisms.
“I tried, repeatedly, to pass feedback along to the nurses, the hotel staff—anyone who might listen. No one was interested in hearing feedback from a person in hotel quarantine.”
“I was told the only way to provide feedback was to make a complaint to the NSW Ombudsman…only to find out that the NSW Ombudsman doesn’t have the power to investigate quarantine arrangements.”
A mental health imperative
Initial reports suggest that up to 25% of people who go through hotel quarantine can experience long-term mental health difficulties, including symptoms of PTSD. This potential for distress and harm brings an obligation to collect regular feedback—and to commit to ongoing continuous improvement.
While there have been a number of reviews assessing Australia’s hotel quarantine system, few tell the story from the perspective of those who experience it.
Case numbers and quarantine leaks are clearly key measures of success for hotel quarantine—but so too is the quality of health care, mental health support and overall treatment of the humans who live through the quarantine experience.
Quarantine Voices is an attempt to add that data to public discourse about the quality of hotel quarantine. We’ll share findings online and will compile our data into a submission to the Parliament of Australia’s Select Committee on COVID-19.
Been through hotel quarantine? Share your feedback
If you have been through hotel quarantine, we want to hear your story! We’re inviting anyone who has been through hotel quarantine in Australia to take part in the evaluation by completing an online survey or sharing feedback through an interview.